Steven Gerrard Not Able to Inspire Liverpool On His 500th Appearance
Once again, following a morale boosting victory, Liverpool have failed to capitalize in their next game. This time around the Reds were held to a disappointing scoreless draw by Blackburn Rovers this afternoon.
Last weekend, the Reds scrambled past Everton to grab three points when really they did not deserve more than one.
The Merseyside derby is always a critical game for both teams in any season and a win against city rivals goes a long way in lifting morale and confidence. Liverpool's trip then to Ewood Park was expected to result in solidifying away victory.
It was also to be a landmark game for Steven Gerrard who was making his 500th appearance for the Reds and as coincidence would have it, against the very same team against whom he made his debut in 1998
Congratulations to Gerrard goes out from all Liverpool fans and what those fans would have given to see the Liverpool captain put in one of his trademark performances.
But without his attacking mate, Fernando Torres, in his 500th game, Gerrard and Liverpool once again looked toothless and lacking attacking flair and creativity.
Once again, Rafa Benitez deemed his expensive Italian summer signing fit enough to take a place on the bench, however not seemingly match fit enough to play any part in the game.
Many fans are now beginning to question why, if Alberto Aquilani is able to make the bench, he is not playing any part in the action itself. Surely, if it is match fitness the Italian needs, then he is not going to get it by being named as a substitute and then not being given any time on the field of play itself.
On an afternoon where Liverpool craved for some creativity and spark, once again, Benitez held his Italian ace at bay. Rafa has reiterated on many occasions that Aquilani is at Anfield for the long run and will not be rushed into action. But if his fitness is enough for him to take a place on the bench, then surely 15 or 20 minutes in the action would benefit the Italian enormously.
Liverpool once again stutter and falter to deceive and wait for their season to take some direction. Any springboard that they create for themselves, they do not take advantage of.
Steven Gerrard's 500th game for Liverpool will not be one that lives long in his or any of the fans' memory and push Liverpool's stake for a Champions League place come the end of the season, further away.
Much has been made recently of Liverpool's upcoming fixtures over the festive period and the potential for them to collect a significant number of points from these games. However, much of that may depend on the outcome of the first of those matches which is a home game against Arsenal next Sunday afternoon.
Should Liverpool come out of this fixture will a morale boosting three points, they must this time take advantage of this springboard to go on and give themselves a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
But regardless of whether the Reds go into the holiday fixtures on the back of a victory against Arsenal, failure to accumulate a significant number of points in those matches may see fourth place seem like an awful long way away.
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